There was once a great healer. People would come to him for advice and help when they were sick. Every few months, this healer would take in and mentor a few willing people. On the first day of apprenticeship, the healer would take all of his students into his kitchen.
“Here is your where you will learn to heal both yourself and others.”
The teacher taught his students a valuable lesson that day. What he taught was this…
Cooking is a spiritual practice
Cooking is an art form. Just like painting or dancing, you’re creating something when you cook. The difference is that we actually eat what we cook. When we go into the kitchen, we prepare nourishment and sustenance for ourselves, our family and our loved ones. The food we eat turns into our cells, our tissues, our hair, our nails, our skin, our thoughts, and our feelings. It’s always good to take a moment before we put our energy into the food we’re about to cook to center the energy within ourselves.
If you notice today, our society is always rushed. We have a rushed culture with rushed personalities and rushed food.
If we just learn to slow down and dedicate some time to cooking and eating, that can translate into helping so many other aspects of our lives.
In meditation communities, the person who is chosen to be the chef is the person with the strongest meditation practice. The idea is that whoever is preparing the food is pouring their energy into the food and feeding the whole community, so the energy within that person better be good.
There is something to be said about cooking with love and good energy.
We both know that if you or your mom were to cook a meal at home, compared to if you were to get that meal at a restaurant, you would leave that meal feeling differently. That’s because there are 2 “vitamins” that you get with a home cooked meal that you don’t get anywhere else. One is “vitamin L” which is love and the other is “vitamin H” which is home cooked. Cooking also gives you “vitamin S” which is a skill.
Home cooking gives you the skill to get creative, work a knife and a cutting board, and make food that will nourish your body and soul.
To really understand these differences between home-cooked meals and restaurant meals, all you need to do is work in the back of a restaurant.
I used to work in a restaurant, and the front of the restaurant is a lot different than the back of the restaurant. In front of the restaurant, there are pretty people greeting you and smiling and taking your order. In the back of the restaurant, there are people yelling at each other to get the different plates out and clean everything up. It can get really bad in the average restaurant.
People don’t think of the energy that gets put into the food at the average restaurant.
I hope this example drove home the understanding of the difference between preparing food at home in a peaceful and quiet and loving place compared to even nice restaurants.
And if these theories about why you should be cooking your food are too “out there” or esoteric, let’s bring it back in with some more real-world reasons why you need to be cooking more.
Practical Reasons why you should cook your own food
It will save you money
Plain and simple. Cooking (batch cooking in particular) will save you time and money. It will nourish not just your body but also your wallet.
You will know exactly what food you’re eating
You never know what you’ll get when you aren’t cooking your own meals. Even at restaurants that make your meals right in front of you, you don’t get the whole picture. I used to eat at a certain Mexican restaurant, I’ll call it “Lipotle,” because I thought it was healthy. They advertised grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chickens and “food with integrity.” Only after a further investigation from another food activist did I discover that there was transfat made from hydrogenated oils in their burritos and genetically modified corn and soy in nearly all of their products!
Even if you like to eat fried food, consider buying a small deep fryer and do it on your own kitchen (you know when the oil was replaced!).
“A 40-calorie-per-day increase in trans fat intake can lead to a 23% higher risk of heart disease.”
40 calories is a mere 2% of a typical 2000 calorie per day diet. In several states, the chips and corn tortillas had the preservative benzoic acid. Studies have shown GMOs and benzoic acid to be linked to decreased good bacteria in the gut in animal studies. The Mayo Clinic reported that this preservative increases hyperactivity in children. Also, when this acid combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), it can form benzene, a carcinogen that damages DNA in cells and accelerates aging.
Point and case: The only way to be sure that your food is pure and whole is to purchase and cook yourself. For a list of places where you can purchase healthy foods, check out the resource age. Please note that there are some companies that package healthy organic food that I trust, but with how much I eat, it would cost more than I can afford to get my meals from these services. Plus we can’t forget the fact that cooking food yourself can be therapeutic and healing in its own right.
Some people experience a great reduction in their acne when eliminating salt intake. Restaurants are notorious for loading salt on their food. You can control your salt intake and choose not to add it to your meals if you cook them yourself. (If you do use salt, I recommend using a pinch of Aztec Sea Salt. It is hands down the best salt I’ve ever had).
By buying locally and cooking your food at lower temperatures, you’ll get more nutrients from your food. This is important considering those with acne have fewer nutrients compared to those without acne.
Awareness of food allergies & sensitivities
Food sensitivities can play a huge role in acne and skin conditions. I personally saw a reduction of my cystic acne when I eliminated eggs and other foods that came up on my food sensitivity test. Restaurants add hidden sources of food to a lot of their dishes. If you have already cleaned up your diet and lifestyle and are still experiencing troubled skin, food sensitivity tests may give you some useful insight as to why you’re still breaking out. Like most tests, they’re expensive, but in my opinion, they’re worth it due to the insight they give.
A slimmer waistline
A study from Cambridge University suggested that those who frequently cooked at home consumed fewer calories, salt, sugar, and fat compared to when they ate out.
Make your coffee at home
If you enjoy drinking coffee, buying takeout each day at the local coffee shop can really start to add up. Buying a good quality coffee machine may seem like a costly purchase, but it will soon save you money. Plus you can enjoy great coffee every day at home. If you feel overwhelmed by the variety of coffee makers out there, this article could make it easier for you.